I have always had a curiosity about the world since I was a little girl. Each year in October my parents and I would travel to Florida, stay at the same hotel on the beach and meet people from all over the world; some we would see year after year and others only for a few days. But from crossing paths with those people, it changed the course of my life forever.
I remember one year when I was in sixth grade there was a girl from Germany that I met. I was too shy to start a conversation with her and later found out from her parents that was alright because the only phrase she knew in English was “I don’t know.” However, we spent hours smiling at each other and showing off our cool dives and tricks in the pool. The next summer I took a German class to prepare if I ever met her again. I knew I wanted to communicate with other people and understand where they are coming from. From experiences like this as a kid, I knew I had to learn more about this big world we live in.
When I travel, I don’t think of it as a vacation, where you can relax and tune out your surroundings. That I can do on my couch with an afternoon nap. Rather, when I travel I seek to learn more about myself, others and life. Traveling can be, and often is, a scary thing. You might not speak the language or like the food. You might spend too much money and most likely you will get lost. When that happens I think to myself “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” I have found that I have to trust my instincts, previous experience and intelligence to get through it. And more likely than not, everything worked out favorably.
Traveling overall is a spiritual journey for the mind, body and soul. I’ve grown from my travels and my view of the world has changed a little bit more with each trip. I’ve found that by finding the differences in culture, language, food and sights, I see more of the similarities. People are people no matter where you go and from others, I have learned more about myself. So where will you go? Who will you meet? What will you learn? On your adventurous path to explore the world and all it has to offer remember one thing, the journey is the destination.